FORD Ghana identifies challenges affecting shea butter processing groups


Foundation for Research and Development (FORD Ghana), a grassroot development oriented community-based NGO, has held a stakeholders’ validation and engagement review forum to share findings of a rapid assessment it carried out.

The research was to identify challenges that affect shea butter processing groups in the Gushegu Municipality.

The forum was attended by heads of department, representatives of civil society organisations, NGOs, traditional authorities, opinion leaders, various groups and stakeholders to discuss, deliberate and identify challenges affecting shea butter processing groups in the municipality.

FORD Ghana is currently implementing a Community Women Income and Livelihood Improvement Project with support from Global Affairs Canada, and HIV/TB community systems strengthening programme, in partnership with Ghana HIV/Aids Network and funded by Christian Health Association of Ghana.

The purpose of the intervention is to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation and advance human achievements.

Mr Adam Abdul Fatawu, Project Coordinator, FORD Ghana, who presented the findings at the forum, said even though the shea butter processing groups had been in the area for over two decades, they faced challenges such as inadequate and proper WASH facilities, and exposure to high risks due to lack of fire extinguishers.

He mentioned other challenges as poor state of road network, erratic power supply, indiscriminate felling of sheanut trees for cooking, sale and for farming activities, lack of modern equipment and use of outdated equipment for shea butter processing, lack or no ready market for processed shea butter, and poor state of shea processing buildings.

He recommended the procurement of more processing machines and equipment, establishment of shea butter processing boards and committees to negotiate prices with sheanut pickers and train and resource other players in the Sheanut business.

He further recommended that MMDAs and NGOs should rehabilitate and renovate all shea butter processing group centers, build the capacities of processors, introduce modern, technological and scientific preparation of quality shea butter amongst others, to improve the groups’ operations.

Mr Yaja Robert Dawuni, Gushegu Municipal Chief Executive, underscored the importance of shea butter and the difficulties associated with sheanut picking, and emphasised the need to protect the environment to safeguard shea trees.

Mr Dawuni warned that the Assembly would revisit and reinforce by-laws to check the indiscriminate felling of trees for charcoal and firewood.

He presented three roasters and six plastic head pans valued at GHc6,900 to the various shea butter processing groups to boost their operations.

Mr Abdulai Hussein, Gushegu Municipal Director of Ghana Enterprises Agency, took participants through various business processes such as business registration, cooperatives, and management training among others and encouraged the groups to register with the Agency to receive professional advice on their operations.

By Sulemana Zakaria, GNA


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